Rio 2016: There are no reports of misbehaviour against me, says Vijay Goel
A day after organisers at the Rio Olympics threatened to cancel the accreditation of India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel and withdraw privileges offered to him, he said that the allegations of ‘misbehaviour’ levelled against his entourage are wrong and nothing of that sort has happened.
"I don't know who wrote the letter and what are his capacities and post. The letter written to Chef-de-Mission (Rakesh Gupta) states that they have some issue from our staff members, regarding misbehavior or access. I don't know any such things and they have not written against me, the letter also does not have anything against the sports minister," Goel said in his defence.
Yesterday, Sarah Peterson, who is Continental Manager for Rio 2016 Organising Committee, in a letter to Indian Chef-de-Mission Rakesh Gupta threatened to cancel Goel's accreditation on grounds of misbehaviour and trying to enter venues with his entourage who don't have valid passes.
When asked about trying to forcibly enter the hockey arena, Goel said, "The volunteers had taken him to the field of play because otherwise how is he allowed to go? I couldn't have gone on my own. Next time, I had an upgraded pass with me provided by Organising Committee (OC). I went to the hockey pitch to cheer up our team only, and it is not a crime. We are here to cheer up our teams only. First they asked to have a pass, so the next time I went there with my pass."
Goel said that he expected certain things to be communicated verbally before taking the matter straightaway to the Chef-de-Mission.
"They should have told things orally, we are not informed anything and they wrote straight away to Chef-de-Mission. Language is also a main problem here, may be there is a misunderstanding because of that. There is nothing against the Sports Minister and if it is because of staff, then I don't have any knowledge about it. If they bring things to me than only I can do anything," he said.
Goel, who took charge last month, is in Rio to cheer for Indian contingent and to ensure that their requirements are met. His wife has accompanied him at events, where the minister has been spotted clicking selfies with Indian athletes.
When boxer Manoj Kumar won a match, Goel whipped out his phone and was clicking a selfie even before the sportsman had spoken to the media or completed the mandatory dope test.
On the other hand, Rakesh Gupta said that it is "unfortunate that a non issue is being made an issue without any reason”.